Winter is long behind us for this year as everyone begins to think about summer fun. My work here at The Weather Channel as the Winter Weather Expert winds down as well. People constantly ask me what I do once winter is over. Well, I am pretty lucky. After working for over 30 years in the National Weather Service, this second career has allowed me to analyze winter weather on a national scale and share my enthusiasm about winter storms with viewers.
My season typically begins in mid-October and ends in mid-May. During the summer months I don’t exactly disconnect from the weather. In fact, each day begins with a review of the weather conditions across the U.S. and a look at the latest computer model runs for high impact weather across the nation. I don’t stop there. Using one of my favorite Internet links, I take a tour around the globe each day to find interesting weather using MODIS polar orbiting satellite imagery. Here is the link to get to it, be careful, you may get hooked and spend much of your day touring the globe as well!!
I also spend time developing additional training and refresher presentations on winter weather for my colleagues at The Weather Channel. As with some of our other Experts like Dr. Forbes, we provide refresher training for the On-Camera-Meteorologists and other staff on various topics dealing with our area of expertise. This past winter we looked into topics such as the climatology of freezing rain events due to the Columbia Gorge in Portland Oregon, upslope snow events along the Front Range in Colorado and synoptic (large) scale weather patterns associated with major ice storms in the Central and Southern U.S. I attend and speak at conferences during the off-season as well, such as the Great Lakes Conference on Operational Meteorology, which I began with a group of other U.S. and Canadian meteorologists 25 years ago and is still going strong today.
Ok, Ok, I do have fun as well. I love to travel and enjoy the outdoors. Most of the time I like to explore our own wonderful nation. Each summer I spend time connecting back with nature on a back-country trip my son and I take into the St. Regis Canoe Area in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. With 6 million acres of land designated as “Forever Wild”, it is one of the most successful examples of protecting the land for generations to come. Below is a photo of one of my favorite spots on earth, St. Regis Pond, not too far from Lake Placid, NY. With our canoe and a couple of backpacks, we spend several days in the back-country, soaking up and re-connecting with nature. You simply cannot put a price on the experience!!
St. Regis Pond – Adirondack Park, New York
Another great location I suggest to everyone to visit is anywhere out West!! On a recent trip to Utah I did a white-water rafting trip through the Lodore Canyon on the Green River in Northeast Utah followed by a few days in Moab, where I shot this photo of a lenticular cloud through Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, one of the most photographed locations in the world, for good reason!
Arches National Park
If the back-country isn’t quite what you are in to, I have another secret spot that I spend some time each off-season, Cape San Blas Florida. Located on a sliver of land extending from the Florida Peninsula on the Gulf Coast, this idyllic place is located next to St. Joseph State Park. It is a perfect spot to enjoy quiet beaches and amazing sunsets. Here is a photo I took on a recent trip there.
Cape San Blas – Gulf Coast – Florida
I love photography and nature, so it has been “natural” for me to photograph everything to do with nature, well beyond just the weather. If I would not have gone into meteorology as a career I could have seen myself studying botany (plants) or entomology (bugs). On any given day you will find me in the backyard or in some field with my camera just getting lost in nature. Here are a few photos from my adventures including a pollen-laden bee and a slow-motion video of one of my daily visitors, a hummingbird. Note, his “voice/song” sounds much different than what you hear at normal speed when he is a really high-pitched squeaker ☺
Even as a little kid my parents taught me the wonders of nature in my own backyard and I still enjoy that experience to this day. So, I keep very busy, but in a most enjoyable way during the off-season. I do rest a little as well because once winter ramps up, it is a full-time job monitoring the weather for wintry impacts on a national scale across the U.S. tay tuned…it’s not THAT far off into the future ☺